EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Cleveland guard Sasha Pavlovic returned from a 23-game absence because of a sprained left foot and was in the Cavaliers' starting lineup Wednesday night against the Nets.
Pavlovic was hurt Jan. 23 in a victory over Washington. Despite that long layoff, coach Mike Brown said he went with his ``gut'' in deciding to put Pavlovic right back in the lineup.
``Sometimes I'd start a guy if he was out a couple of games or something like that,'' Brown said. ``Obviously Sasha's been out longer, but you know it's just a feel and we don't have that many games to kind of sit back and ease anybody in, so it's best to throw him in the mix and let him get his feet wet as quickly as possible and see what happens.''
Brown said he wasn't told he needed to monitor Pavlovic's minutes, and he had no expectations beyond just wanting Pavlovic, averaging 7.3 points in 38 games, to play hard.
The Cavs are still without Zydrunas Ilgauskas (back) and Daniel Gibson (sprained left ankle), and Ben Wallace joined them on the sidelines with back spasms. Joe Smith started alongside LeBron James and Anderson Varejao in the frontcourt.
``You have one guy come back and you have another guy go out,'' James said before the game. ``It's been like that for us the last two, three months.''

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Rockets vs. Nuggets Prediction After stunning the Warriors last night as a double-digit underdog, will the Rockets cover again tonight when they visit the Nuggets at 10:30PM...
Thumbnail Butler aims to keep scorching nets The Cavaliers are coming off back-to-back losses heading into tonight’s game at Chicago. Can LeBron James & Co. get back on track in...
Thumbnail Pistons vs. Hawks Pick Can the Detroit Pistons continue their current hot streak on the road when they face the Atlanta Hawks tonight at 8PM...
Thumbnail Lakers vs. Raptors Prediction Is the over the right play tonight when the Lakers visit the Raptors at 7:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Los Angeles grinding through problems, too J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers want to put a head-scratching performance behind them as soon as possible. What better way to do that than by welcoming the...
More inNBA Articles  

NBA Team Pages